Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Analiza “Aiza” Diuco has more or less an idea of what works and what does not in business. But even she was not prepared to answer her aunt who asked what seemed like a fairly simple question.
“My aunt who lives abroad, would often ask me to bring whitening products for her. I’m aware that these products are already very popular among Filipinos but when she asked me which between glutathione or papaya is the more effective whitening ingredient, I had to do more research before I could answer her,” she recalled.
Unique skin whitening solution
“I then found out that combining the two most effective whitening agents would give better results, But before I came to this conclusion, it took me and my team which included a chemist and a dermatologist nine months just to perfect the formulation of my first soap that would carry the Glupa brand. It was like giving birth to your first child.”
That was way back in 2009. Almost nine years later, Aiza is now the CEO Age Defying Solutions, Inc. that manufactures the Glupa brand of skin whitening products that continues to disrupt the skin whitening industry in more ways than one.
Starting with a single soap variant, Glupa now has 11 types of soaps even as its product line now also includes toners, creams and lotions. There are also products for men, including the Glupa Skin Solutions for Men in soap and deep cleanser formats and the Glupa Skin Solutions Plus with Acne Buster in soap and toner formats. There is even an intimate wash not just for women but also for men.
“The feminine wash has whitening and tightening properties, while the wash for men allows them to feel amorous towards their partners,” she explains.
Expanding the product line
Other Glupa products include a 700mg-capsule with Glutathione, Papain for faster absorption, Vitamin C and Alpha Lipoic Acid. The company also carries the Le Putih whitening radish soap—the first of its kind in the Philippines.
Even with an already wide array of products, Aiza continues to think of ways to further expand her market. She is now training her focus on her more senior customers as she intends to develop more Glupa products for skin aging needs.
Asked what accounts for her success in the skin whitening industry, Aiza passionately defends her patented formulation of combining glutathione and papaya as “the new standard in skin whitening”
“I believe both glutathione and papaya should be the minimum requirements when it comes to whitening. Papaya exfoliates while glutathione stops melanin production. It truly is the perfect combination,” she declared.
She says they plan to develop products for more senior customers, which will be for skin aging needs.
Trusting the process
In addition to its key ingredients, Aiza also believes that what makes Glupa effective as compared to competing brands is the cold process used in the manufacture of her products. She admits that it’s a more tedious and expensive process that requires curing but the quality of the finished products are very much worth it.
“Everyone in the whitening industry is claiming that their product is the most effective. But how is it possible for them to bring their prices down when high quality raw materials cost a lot of money? Yes, it’s harder for us to compete, but I’d rather we raise our prices a little in order to give our customers high quality products. I also see to it that we only use high quality raw materials imported from Japan and other countries that produce premium ingredients,” she pointed out.
Aiza said she is also very particular when it comes to the matte-laminated packaging of Glupa.
“I want people to perceive our products as premium yet affordable,” she noted.
Going against the grain
And then there’s the way Glupa is marketed which goes against the convention of using fair-skinned models or endorsers to promote the products.
“I don’t want to join the bandwagon of hiring mestizo or mestiza endorsers who are already fair-skinned to begin with, I don’t think that works in the long run. Yes, it catches the attention of the market and makes them buy the product, but what about repeat purchase and brand loyalty?,” she wondered.
Aiza says banking on a gimmick-free campaign to market Glupa is what has been working for the brand and its products for years. Until proven otherwise, this is the entrepreneurship philosophy that she will continue to stick with.
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Sharing her success formula
Aiza Diuco on what it takes to succeed in business.
Start in the corporate world
This way, they will experience how it feels to be an employee and learn how a business works.
Workshops are important
Make the most out of trainings and workshops in corporations; they will be helpful to you when you embark on your entrepreneurship journey.
Take care of human resources
Remember, even if you have the best business plan and strategies, but if you do not have the quality people to carry them out, your business cannot succeed. A good entrepreneur knows how to manage the best asset of the company and that is, the human resources.
Pray in everything you do
Pray for guidance. It helps.